Johnathan Taylor has neck surgery

Updated: March 8, 2011, 10:35 AM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor underwent neck surgery to stabilize his spine Monday, a day after he was injured in a collision with a teammate during a game.

Taylor was scheduled to be transferred from St. Mary's Hospital to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for rehabilitation later in the week, the school announced.

The 20-year-old junior is the second Georgia baseball player to suffer a serious spinal injury in less than two years. Second baseman Chance Veazey was paralyzed below the waist when his scooter collided with a vehicle on campus in October 2009, before he played his first game for the Bulldogs.

Taylor was hurt in a head-to-head collision with Zach Cone while both players chased a line drive in the third inning of Sunday's game against Florida State. Cone left the field under his own power, but medical staffers placed Taylor on a stretcher with his neck stabilized in a brace.

The school did not reveal the extent of Taylor's injuries, but Shepherd is one of the nation's leading facilities for paralyzed patients.

He has appeared in 117 games for the Bulldogs, including 91 starts, with a career average of .312.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to J.T. and his family during this difficult time," Georgia coach David Perno said in a statement. "J.T. is very tough and that is going to help him during his recovery."

The Bulldogs (3-8) begin a stretch of nine straight road games at Mercer on Tuesday.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press